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Kaṇhā

1. Kaṇhā.– Daughter of the king of Kosala. Before she was born, Brahmadatta, king of Bārāṇasī, killed her father and carried off her mother. When the child was born, Brahmadatta adopted her as his own daughter; she is, therefore, called dvepitikā (having two fathers). The king promised to grant her a boon, and she held a swayamvara, at which she chose as her husbands all the five sons of King Paṇḍu: Ajjuna, Bhīmasena, Nakula, Yudhiṭṭhila, and Sahadeva. According to the Mahābhārata, Draupadī, daughter of the Pañcāla king, was the wife of these five princes.

By her strong passions she won the love of them all. Not satisfied with them, she also made love to a hump-backed slave who was in her service. One day, when she was sick, all her husbands were gathered round her, and she made signs to each of them to show that she loved him best. Ajjuna, however, was suspicious, and by questioning the hump-back, learnt the truth. The five brothers left her and retired to the Himavā, where they became ascetics. The story was related by Kuṇāla, who is identified with Ajjuna. J.v.424, 426 f.

2. Kaṇhā.– See Kaṇhājinā.

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